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Slow Cooker Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

brightly colored Brazilian moqueca in black clay bowl

Seafood stew is another national favorite in Brazil. It is a surprisingly simple dish that happens to be keto-friendly and gluten free. It comes together in as little as 30 minutes, but we will be slow-cooking our stew over several hours to let the flavors really meld and blossom. 

Like many dishes in Brazil, moqueca has many variations from region to region. A version in Espirito Santo is known as moqueca capixaba. It may include crab meat, prawns, lobster, or white fish, like bass or tilapia. 

The Espirito Santo stew is unique for its reddish tint, created by adding tomato broth and annatto seeds (also known as achiote and urucrum). It is also served in a traditional pan made from black clay and glazed with mangrove sap. The finished stew may be accompanied by plantains, rice, and other dishes served in similar pans. 

In Bahia, the stew incorporates coconut milk and dende (palm oil), ingredients found in many other recipes of the region. It is usually finished with fresh cilantro and served with rice and farofa. 

Our recipe blends the two versions using coconut milk, palm oil, and achiote powder

Common Questions When Making Moqueca

Do I have to use sea bass in fish stew?

No, you can use any white fish you like. Other great options are cat fish, tilapia, haddock, and cod. 

Can I use shellfish in this moqueca recipe?

Yes, you can certainly use shellfish, like shrimp, lump crab, or lobster. Just add them at a later stage in the cooking process (about thirty minutes before the stew is done). Avoid using bivalves like oysters or clams, however, as these tend to become tough in the slow cooker.

Doesn’t the fish overcook in the slow cooker?

The slow cooker is actually an ideal environment in which to cook fish. The consistent temperature and relatively low heat result in tender and moist bites of fish that are anything but rubbery. 

What if I don’t have red palm oil?

Like coconut milk, red palm oil is completely optional in this recipe. You can also substitute it with extra virgin olive oil, if you like. 

Do I need to marinate the fish for moqueca?

Another great reason to use a slow cooker for moqueca is that you do not need to marinate the fish beforehand. It will have plenty of time to absorb all those delicious flavors. 

Do I have to saute the vegetables first for slow cooker stew?

No, this is optional. Feel free to just put all the ingredients directly into the slow cooker.

Can I freeze moqueca for later?

Absolutely! Frozen moqueca will keep for up to three months. 

Slow Cooker Fish Stew Recipe (Moqueca)


16 oz sea bass filets (4-5 filets)
3.5 cups fish stock
¼ cup diced carrots
1 can of diced stewed tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp red palm oil or olive oil
¼ cup diced green chiles
1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 2 large peppers)
2 oz lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp annato powder (achiote)
Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat a saute pan over medium heat. Add in your palm or olive oil and saute diced carrots, bell pepper, onion until softened (about 2 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook until just fragrant (30 seconds or so). 
  2. Put the cooked vegetables in the bowl of a 6 quart slow cooker. Put the fish filets on top of the vegetables and pour in fish stock, canned tomatoes, green chiles, and coconut milk. 
  3. Stir in ground cumin, annato powder, and lime juice. 
  4. Cook over low heat for 6 hours, or on high for 3. 
  5. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro, a drizzle of red palm oil, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy!

Try Texas de Brazil’s Fish Stew

What’s even easier than this slow cooker recipe for moqueca? Having our fabulous chefs prepare it for you in one of our restaurants! Moqueca is one of several incredible side dishes we offer at our churrascarias, along with fried bananas, black beans with feijoada, lobster bisque, and more. Stop by one of our 50+ locations to enjoy authentic Brazilian cuisine in a delightful atmosphere.

Brazilian Potato Salad (Maionese de Batata)

brazilian potato salad in a white bowl with fork

Memorial Day Recipes

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional way Americans welcome Summer. Most children are out of school, pools and water parks open, and it is officially backyard barbecue season. 

Brazilians are famous for their barbecue, which substitutes flame-grilled beef, chicken, and sausages for the American burgers and brats. Many of the side dishes are similar to those found at a stateside cookout or potluck, with plenty of mayo-based salads, rolls, and chips and dip

Salads incorporating mayonnaise are so popular in Brazil that they are simply called “maionese.” One of the maionese you are likely to find at a Brazilian barbecue is the maionese de batata-literally, the “mayonnaise salad of potato.” 

The base of the Brazilian version of potato salad will sound very familiar: boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Instead of boiled eggs or green onion, which are popular in the American version, Brazilians add a little sweetness with diced carrots. 

In maionese de batata, the carrots and potatoes are chopped to the same size and boiled together. Finished with a little parsley and plenty of mayonnaise, and you have a basic Brazilian potato salad. 

Many Brazilians like to dress up their salads with additional ingredients. During the holidays, for example, potato salad is served with raisins and sliced apples. You may also find other typical Brazilian additives, like peas, corn, sliced green olives, diced ham, and chopped onion. If you want to be really decadent, top your salad with some crispy batata palha-the ubiquitous Brazilian potato sticks.

In other words, like many Brazilian dishes, this one is highly customizable. Add whatever you like! Just don’t skip the carrots if you want a salad that is uniquely Brazilian. 

Recipe for Brazilian Potato Salad (Maionese de Batata)


6 medium golden potatoes
4 large carrots
4 oz mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel carrots and potatoes. Dice in about half inch cubes so they are roughly uniform.
  2. Bring a large stock pot to a boil. Add your diced vegetables and cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the carrots have softened. The potatoes will cook faster than the carrots. This means your carrots will still have a little bite to them, and that is exactly what you want.
  3. When your potatoes are tender, remove the vegetables from the heat and strain in a colander. Run cold water over the vegetables to keep them from overcooking. 
  4. Allow your veggies to cool completely before you add your mayonnaise. The texture may be curdled or otherwise unpleasant if the mayo is added when the potatoes and carrots are too warm.
  5. Once cooled, add your mayonnaise, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Top with additional fresh parsley. Serve chilled. 

What to Eat With Brazilian Potato Salad

Maionese de batata is designed to pair with grilled meats, like picanha, spicy sausage, or smoky chicken. Texas de Brazil now offers hand-curated butcher boxes with the best cuts of meat delivered right to your door. Try serving home-grilled picanha, Brazilian potato salad, and creamy, refreshing Brazilian lemonade at your next cookout. We guarantee you’ll win barbecue season.

Other Brazilian recipes to try for Memorial Day:

Brazilian Coconut Custards (Quindim)

Bright yellow Brazilian quindim custards

Quindim are a favorite dessert in Brazil, especially in Salvador de Bahia. They are vibrant yellow in color and have a signature shine that make for an enticing little treat. Their texture is cooling and creamy, perfect for the warm summer months. 

Like many of the beautiful dishes in Bahia, quindim are a blend of African and Portuguese traditions. Egg yolks feature heavily in many Portuguese desserts, while the coconut crust in these sweets is of African influence. 

What Does Quindim Mean in English?

The word quindim is also of African origin. It is derived from dikende, a word from the African Kikongo language that means, roughly, “to act like a young girl.”

While it is uncertain why that particular name was chosen for this dessert, we might assume that it has to do with the quindims’ sweetness. There is an old American nursery rhyme that suggests that girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice.” Perhaps there is something similar in the folklore of the Kikongo-speaking nations. 

Making Brazilian Quindim

Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: quindim are delicious. And what’s more, they require only a few ingredients and are quite simple to make. They are traditionally served in individual portions from a ramekin or small ring mold, similar mini flan. Occasionally, you will find them in a full-size cake called a quindão, which is offered in slices. 

The quindim get their vibrant yellow color from egg yolks, of which there are quite a few in this recipe. They also incorporate a good deal of sugar and a flavorful coconut crust. Like many custards, the ingredients are mixed together and baked in a bain marie. 

The bain-marie allows heat to be transferred to the custards slowly, letting them cook through before the crust forms and maintaining a creamy, non-grainy texture. It is a technique applied to many baked custards, like creme brulee. 

Quindim are naturally gluten free, and can also be amended to suit a keto diet (see notes below). 

Brazilian Quindim Recipe


12 egg yolks, strained through a mesh sieve
1 ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
¾ cups coconut milk, unsweetened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp real vanilla extract or almond extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a standard muffin tin, mini flan tin, or 12 ramekins with unsalted butter or nonstick spray. Add sugar in each container to coat and then a little extra in the bottoms.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the coconut flakes and coconut milk. Let stand while you proceed to the next step.
  4. Put the sieved egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is pale yellow and foamy in texture.
  5. Now add your coconut flakes and coconut milk and mix on low speed to combine.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared muffin tin, mini flan tin, or ramekins. Fill each to about ¾ full.
  7. Place your muffin tin or ramekin in a bain-marie. This is, essentially, a hot water bath. Find a large casserole that your tin or ramekins can fit inside and fill it with water about halfway up the custards.
  8. Bake the coconut custards in the bain marie for 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife in the center of one to check for doneness. If the custard is still liquid, bake for an additional ten minutes.
  9. Remove the quindim from the oven and let it cool. You can serve it directly from the ramekins, but it is better to invert them onto a plate to show off that glossy, sugary topping. Use a cookie sheet to flip your muffin or flan tins before transferring to individual plates.

Recipe Notes:

To make keto-friendly quindim, replace the sweetened coconut flakes with unsweetened shredded coconut. Substitute monk fruit sweetener for the granulated sugar, and you’ll be good to go! 

Other sweet Brazilian recipes to try:

Visit Texas de Brazil for Authentic Brazilian Cuisine

Stop by one of our 50+ locations to sample authentic Brazilian churrasco dishes, from spit-grilled picanha to our melt-in-your-mouth Brazilian cheese bread. Or, go online to our Butcher Shop to get our signature meats delivered right to your door. 

Brazilian Sweet Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)

Corn Pudding from Brazil

Brazilian sweet corn pudding in red dish with cinnamon stick

The Festas Juninas are fast approaching, and no celebration would be complete without curau. Creamy, sweet, and refreshing, this corn pudding is both delicious and very simple to make. 

Like many festivals in Brazil, the Festas Juninas have their roots in Catholicism. Also known as the Festas de São João, the celebrations are meant to honor John the Baptist and thank him for the rainy season. The festas are likewise an homage to rural traditions and incorporate various costumes, food, and music. 

The Festas coincide with Brazil’s second harvest of sweet corn, so it is no surprise that corn-based dishes feature heavily during the celebrations. Popcorn, cornmeal cakes, and sweet corn pudding are especial favorites and pair beautifully with a warm glass of spiced quentao (Brazilian mulled wine). 

Corn in Brazil

Along with products like coffee, beef, rice, and sugar, corn is one of Brazil’s most important crops in terms of exports. In fact, after the US and China, it is the third largest producer of sweet corn in the world.

Most producers of corn, including the US, have one main crop per season. Brazil, however, is able to harvest three separate crops in different regions and at different times of the year. 

  • The first crop is planted in the Southern region of Brazil between September and October. It is harvested between February and May. This crop is the highest yielding of the three, producing about 100 bushels per acre on average. Once the corn of the first crop has been harvested, it is typically rotated with wheat. 
  • The second corn crop in Brazil is called safrinha, meaning “little harvest” in Portuguese. This is planted in the Midwest after the soybeans have been processed, usually between the months of January and April. It is harvested between June and August and constitutes Brazil’s largest crop in terms of exports, although overall yields are typically smaller than the first crop. 
  • The third Brazilian corn crop was not officially recognized until 2018. There is a smaller but appreciable yield in the North and Northeast region of the country, which is planted from April to September and harvested between October and December. 

Unsurprisingly, corn is a key ingredient in many traditional Brazilian dishes, from cornmeal cake at breakfast to savory pamonhas stuffed with sausage or beef. This corn pudding recipe also incorporates another favorite Brazilian ingredient: sweetened condensed milk

How to Make Brazilian Sweet Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)


12 oz fresh corn kernels* (about 8 medium-sized ears)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1.5 tablespoons butter
¼ tsp salt
Ground cinnamon


  1. Put the fresh corn kernels and whole milk in a blender and blend until well combined. 
  2. Pass the blended corn and milk mixture through a large sieve to remove any pulp.
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Put your corn and milk mixture into the pot, along with your butter, condensed milk, and salt. 
  4. Cook over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until the mixture is thickened, with a creamy, pudding-like consistency. This should take 20-30 minutes.
  5. Pour the corn pudding into serving cups and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Dust with ground cinnamon before serving. 

Celebrate with Texas de Brazil

Bring the Festas Juninas right to your door with one of Texas de Brazil’s hand-curated butcher boxes. Our online Grill Packages feature premium cuts of picanha, pork chops, rack of lamb, spicy Brazilian sausage, and more. Upgrade your barbecue game and visit our Butcher Shop to see what we have available for your next cookout. 

Favorite Breakfast Foods in Brazil

cup of coffee with magazine and fresh flowers

In America, we love a big breakfast with eggs, potatoes, pancakes, and bacon. When we’re in a hurry, we tend to load up on starch with glazed donuts, muffins, or a bagel with cream cheese.

In Brazil, breakfast is usually on the lighter side. Lunch is a much heartier meal, so most Brazilians stick with coffee and a small plate. The name for breakfast is, in fact, café da manhã, which translates to “morning coffee.” The food you eat might change, but coffee in some form is essential.

Top 5 Brazilian Breakfast Foods

1. Pingado with French Bread

A favorite breakfast in Brazil is pingado with french bread or rolls. Pingado is a beverage made with steamed milk and just a splash of coffee. It can be plain or sweetened with sugar. It is paired with a warm baguette from the bakery, smeared with plenty of butter. 

Brazilian pingado drink with french bread
Pingado is traditionally served in a glass cup instead of a mug.

2. Acai na Tigela (Brazilian Acai Bowl)

Brazilians love fruit, so smoothies are also a popular breakfast item. A national favorite is made from frozen acai berries blended with guarana syrup. The smoothie mixture is served in a bowl with granola and fresh fruits, like strawberries and sliced banana. 

acai bowl with granola, strawberries, and banana
Acai is native to Brazil’s tropical rainforest.

3. Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) With Deli Meat

Pao de queijo is a light and chewy puff made from tapioca starch and mozzarella or parmesan cheese. It is a very popular breakfast food that Brazilians like to eat plain or with slices of cured meat and cheese. You can also find stuffed Brazilian cheese breads, with fillings like spiced sausage or dulce de leche. All are gluten-free, bite-sized, and delicious.

Brazilian cheese bread on tray with coffee
Brazilian cheese bread can be eaten plain or stuffed with delicious fillings.

4. Bolo de Fuba (Brazilian Cornmeal Cake)

Brazilians love cake for breakfast! Pound cake and coffee cake are common, but a quintessential Brazilian breakfast cake is the bolo de fuba. This cake is made with finely ground cornmeal and traditionally served in a bundt shape. Some variations use coconut milk for a denser crumb. It can be topped off with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or a drizzle of dulce de leche. 

Brazilian cornmeal cake with a slice missing
Bolo de fuba is made from cornmeal and buttermilk or coconut milk.

5. Brazilian Tapioca Crepes

These “crepes” are often simply referred to as tapioca and are made from just cassava flour and water. The mixture is lightly fried in a pan to form the crepe, which is then filled with things like coconut and condensed milk, melted cheese, or chocolate and bananas. 

Brazilian crepe made from tapioca flour on a plate
Brazilian crepes are made from just two ingredients: tapioca and water.

Try Brazilian Food at Home

You can enjoy churrasco from Texas de Brazil’s online butcher shop, featuring hand-curated boxes with premium cuts of meat delivered right to your door. Try your hand at home-grilled picanha, rack of lamb, chops, and zesty brazilian sausage. 

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